Beginning with March 2017, I wrote at least 15 articles (not including several poems) relating to Lent and the ultimate forgiveness, at Calvary. My intention was to draw attention to Jesus in relationship of our own walk to the Cross. In each one I projected my personal feelings as to what I saw spiritually and with tears of compunction put them into words.
However, this year I want to bring into the open some of the crises that seem to be prevalent in our modern society that threaten Christianity and our way of life with the Church. These must be taken seriously as the legacy we shall leave our children and grandchildren will determine how you and I lived and promoted our Catholic Faith. This expose’ is a reflection on Lent to Easter.
We have seen recently how politics can burden the air-waves with nothing but accusations and agendas that may make our time of trust in government null and void. This channel of writing about the Church and Catholic issues is not intended as a way to promote politics, but with what is happening in our modern society there is not a choice to bring into the open how politics will cause a change as to how the church may function in the not to far future.
January 24, 2020, many thousands of pro-life advocates spent hours traveling to Washington DC and marched in support of destroying the terrible atrocity of abortion. Even our President made an appearance and spoke in support of fighting the abomination of abortion.
In a very short time (10 months in November 2020) we will as a nation vote for the president of the United States to be inaugurated in January 2021, a leader of the wealthiest and most powerful nation in the world. Our prayers should be that this person is for justice, world peace, and most of all for human life at every stage of development.
Let’s focus our attention on Gethsemane where Jesus knelt in prayer and, because of the intense agony of his impending death, sweated drops of blood. We are told that if a person is undergoing extreme distress it is not uncommon to do the same. I suppose if Jesus would’ve had a crystal ball, he certainly could’ve visualized the terrible scene of millions of babies being aborted around the clock, all over the world. Well, he knew and this was but one of the reasons he suffered. Do we suffer as well when all around us human life is being slaughtered by doctors, daily? The first step on our walk to Calvary.
Pick up a newspaper or turn on the TV and see another young person just died from an overdose of drugs. It could be your child or mine. The Opioid epidemic is so destructive that we wonder if there will be an end to the loss of too many children.
Scripture records that Jesus cried twice: First when at the tomb of Lazarus (“see how much he loved in him”) John 11:35-36. (Lament for Jerusalem “As he drew near, he saw the city and wept over it”) Luke19: 41. I have no doubt that Jesus’ tears flowed for our children who are suffering from uncontrollable addictions. The second step on our walk to Calvary.
Does the news of another shooting, even in upscale neighborhoods, surprise us anymore? It should. But we hear it so often, daily, it becomes as routine as going to work. Have we learned to absorb that kind of violence that we could be transposed to Nazi Germany or the more current mid-east countries where killing innocent people becomes too routine? Where is the authority now that ensures peace and tranquility? The third step on our walk to Calvary.
Each step we talk on the road to Calvary places on our shoulders a burden or cross that is not unlike that cross Jesus bore. The sins of so many who are guilty of abortion, a lack of concern for others, the spreading of opioids, and even just a closed attitude towards “it’s not my problem” must realize we all must share in the prayers and hope of changing the world’s devastating atrocities.
Walk the same road that led Jesus to die for you and me. But, do not forget as we carry the cross of others, it becomes a true Lenten sacrifice. We then will be like Simon of Cyrene picking up the weight of someone else’s cross.
Ralph B. Hathaway, Lent 2020